Tender For Leasing of Army Helicopters

PUTD AW109 LOH and MD 530G LSAH at the recent Army Firepower demonstration. BTDM

SHAH ALAM: The Defence Ministry has floated the tender for the five year leasing of four medium-lift helicopters for the Army’s Air Wing. The request for bids was published on July 5 and closes on August 11. The Army is leasing the helicopters following the retirement of the Nuri in 2019.

The notice states that

The tenderer is to provide leasing service of four (4) medium category utility helicopters and shall be State Registered and meet Directorate General Technical Airworthiness (DGTA)
state registration requirements.
Requirement for aircraft services as a platform to Tim Nukleus Rej 882 PUTD for training and operational flight duty. It shall adopt the concept Performance Base Contract (PBC) for duration of three (3) to five (5) years.

PUTD AgustaWestland AW109 LOH firing its minigun on the Gemas range in 2018

Specifications published called for a helicopter which can carry at least two crew and 10 passengers;
maximum take off load from 6,000kg to 20,000kg and endurance of four to five hours. The aircraft must be certified for day/night VFR and instrumentation to carry out IFR.
A PUTD Nuri hauling an Oto Melara 105mm Pack Howitzer at the Firepower Exercise 2017. The helicopter like the Nuris of RMAF were retired in mid 2019.

The helicopter shall be powered by at least two (2) turbine engines. The engines shall come with Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) System with manual back-up or equivalent.
The engines shall be equipped with engine chip detector. It shall have an Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) for the starting of engine, Environmental Control Systems (ECS), lighting and all pre-flight essential system. Transmission system shall be equipped with chip detector and warning system for both main gearbox and tail gearbox

One of RMAF leased AW139 flying at Butterworth airbase on February 10. Mindef

Mi-17s cannot be offered as

The landing gear shall be a retractable type with an emergency
extension mechanism

US Army Blackhawks during Keris Strike 2016. US Army photo.

Apart from normal flying, the helicopter must also be able to carry underslung, spie-rig, deck landing and search and rescue missions. The underslung gear must be able to carry up 1,814kg of load.
SF troopers fast-roping from a Nuri helicopter.

The winning bidder must also provide training for qualified flight instructors, pilots, co-pilots, crew, engineers and technicians. The helicopter must also be delivered six months after the Letter of Award is issued. The helicopters will be based at Kuantan as the Tim Nukleus Rej 882 is currently headquartered at the Kem Batu 10, Gambang. It is likely the helicopters will be operated from the adjacent Kuantan airbase.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2205 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. For comnality saje its either civil version h225 assuming it meet the specification or AW139 i guess

  2. It’s not the technical specifications that matters, it’s how much the bidder willing to lease the helicopters. If it’s more than what RMAF paid for theirs I doubt the Finance Ministry will approve the deal

  3. Out of curiosity, how much would be the difference between [1] leasing cost, for 5 years [2] installment cost — assuming we sell bonds, buy the Heli cash and repay the bonds in installments, 5 years

  4. Since this is going to be a norm, why can’t the govt appoint a few fleet management companies like they did for automobiles. One for helicopters, one for gs trucks, etc. Can be more effective in managing cashflow and asset management.

  5. Raising bonds for what is essentially a financial sunk cost expenditure is stupid. That’s what taxes are for.

    Bond is for something that at least has tangible monetary ROI like highway or railway service.

  6. Leasing or purchasing is not really much the issue. Its the issues of paying for it in MYR or cold hard foreign currency as Gov can’t go to a money exchange and get foreign currency. They have to earn it by trading with said country first.

    Like it or not Paying for something in MYR is more palatable to the gov as they can put money printer to go brrrrr then increase the inflation, BLR & taxation or reducing subsidies to afford it.

    Not saying we cannot afford to pay in cold hard foreign currency but the gov for valid reasons attaching military assets procurement in exchange for more preferential market access or more FDI from said seller host country.

    While the millions in commission to a certain individual in relation to French military procurement is well known, its not the only reason for such purchases as what doesn’t get mentioned enough is that the French government do pull enough strings to continue palm oil market access to EU while givin us stenlantis to make that transaction possible.

  7. At 1% of GDP our defence budget is USD4+b. Across 5 years that will be USD20+b. Then again there is GDP growth let is say at 5%. Foreign governments do provide low interest rate loans. If the priority is on defence, we should be quite well equipped already. However, the priority is on the defence industry and palm oil industry. Legacy policy of an old man.

  8. You must remember that only around US1 billion or slightly less annually, is spend on procurement with the rest of the money going to pay and operations. So its around US5 billion for five years.

  9. Hasnan – “the priority is on the defence industry and palm oil industry. Legacy policy of an old man.”

    Priority is national interests; whether it’s the local industry or palm oil or involves a large FDI if we buy something from a particular country.

    The policy we have is the legacy of a certain former PM who decided that defence not be a priority due to the geo political and strategic environment as he saw it. Like other regional leaders he saw the threat of a full scale state on state war as being unlikely. For him not having a well funded and equipped MAF was not an issue; neither was commonality or edutainment issues. We paid more for almost everything and we bought stuff ill suited for our needs because national interests came first; i.e. if Russia would train an astronaut the RMAF would be forced to get a plane ill suited for it’s needs; with long term penalties for the taxpayer.

    Ironically; given his U.S. stance it was during his time when we started to build up on our bilateral defence relationship with the U.S. Amidst all the talk about us being non aligned; it’s with Australia and the U.S. which with we have the deepest and most comprehensive defence ties with.

  10. Hi all. When is the result of MPA and MALE UAV tender?
    My bet – MPA – lowly specs from CN 235 by IPTN or from China (Heard Chinese pushing hard to Defense Ministry – biweekly product presentation/bilateral meetings to the staffs there) and MALE UAV from Turkey.

  11. The more we defer getting new assets, more money is required to maintain old equipment that is not fit for purpose anymore. The same with getting new assets that does not fit requirements. All in all we do not have the capability to fight a conventional war. All we have is just a semblance of a force to deter non-state actors.

    What I find mystifying is how far can you defer critical asset replacements and new requirements? Soon all these requirements will snowball into a figurebthat we need more than 1% plus of GDP for defence capex, nevermind the opex.

  12. It’s the same thing with our bases and camps really, most of them are in need of total replacement, the buildings I mean. Though some are in need of relocation as well due to urbanisation. Unfortunately the current transfer and built deals are mostly meant to help the developers only

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